ENC BEYOND DIVERSITY
Even Woke Organizations Need to Learn How to Interrupt Their Participation in prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a specified attribute!
Why does addressing prejudice and discrimination matter in our communities?
Why do so many “solutions” to systemic racism ultimately reproduce, maintain, and even amplify the problem?
Why is it so hard for companies to recruit, hire and retain people of color, of different ages, different religions, gender, sexual orientation or gender identities?
Think about it. Every day a new report or headline emerges about companies, organizations or communities that claim to be inclusive engaging in practices that demonstrate a bias against people. That’s because our current climate shifts our focus to the wrong thing. Instead of paying attention to the unaddressed history of inequity, we focus on the actions of individuals. While we’re looking for who to blame for injustice, we’re ignoring the organizational culture and practices that permitted the behavior in the first place.
When you don’t understand how your organization is shaped by its dominant cultural norms and values, any effort you make to ensure equality will ultimately be ineffective.
We must collectively begin to understand how structural impediments, unconscious biases and explicit patterns of discrimination against all marginalized groups, hurt our communities. We need to do a power analysis that builds our capacity to identify and understand the dynamics of systemic inequalities in our organizations, businesses and communities and uncover how these create barriers to inclusion and equity.
So much is a stake for us right now. Individual action and transformation – while important – are only the beginning. You CAN grow your impact by calling on your organizations to reach a different level of accountability for all!
6 Action Steps To Building a Truly Welcoming Community
Systemic change can only happen when all parts of the system change with it. Here's what we all need to do in our organizations, businesses, and communities.
How can we take action to create a welcoming community? Here are six steps:
Educate yourself. There are dozens of good reading lists of books and articles, as well as videos and movies that can help you understand the issue of prejudice and discrimination and how we can address it as a society. Add several to your reading and viewing lists now.
Address your personal community. Let all of your family, friends, co-workers, etc. know that you will not tolerate any level of prejudice or discrimination. Share that you are here for them. If you are not of a group of people discriminated against, do not try to pretend to understand what it is like. Ask how you can help. Listen and learn as much as you can from them. (But don't expect them to be responsible for educating you. That's your job.)
Give your people an outlet, someone they can talk to. Assign an internal point person in your organization. We should all be joining each other's community organizations, visiting businesses owned by minority groups, attending workshops and events of outside organizations to understand and celebrate each other's similarities and uniqueness's alike.
Show compassion for each other's feelings. It is each of our responsibilities to help make our fellow citizens feel secure at work, at home and out in our community. Make sure that people know that you care for their well-being.
Do not assume if someone does not openly identify as an affected minority that they are not affected. All sorts of people are affected by recent and past injustices.
Implement diversity, equity and inclusion training. Do it now, make it a requirement for your organizations, your business, insist it for our local, county and state employees, and repeat it regularly. People need to learn, and they will need reminding. They need to know that this is important to you.
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